5 minutes with Belinda ...
Tell us a little about yourself
(This is what my bio says) Belinda lives just north of the Harbour Bridge in Sydney with her husband Joel, an assortment of quirky pot-plants and a possum who refuses to leave their balcony. With a doctorate in Neuroscience and career in healthcare, Belinda has a love for understanding and navigating complex systems. After her first trip to the Philippines in 2003, Belinda’s passion for the archipelago nation was ignited, growing stronger with each and every visit. Stirred by the injustice of human trafficking brought to light by the A21 Campaign, Belinda was inspired to combine her love for the Philippines and empowering others with her skills in photography and opportunity to partner with several key anti-trafficking organisations in the Philippines.
Belinda is the founder and author of Wildflowers, a book which sheds light on the fight against the supply and demand of human trafficking between the Philippines, Australia and beyond.She is an optimist by nature, and uses the mediums of photography and story-telling to convey a message of well-founded hope and victory. Wildflowers the book shares the stories of survivors of sex-trafficking as well as their dreams for the future, thanks to the grit and courage of a number of anti-trafficking organisations in the Philippines that are founded or funded by people just like us. Through the tales of survivors and staff, Belinda paints a picture of what each of these organisations have achieved in the fight against sex-trafficking, and what challenges they have set their eyes on next. Wildflowers is not just a call to awareness, it’s a shout for action. Australia has, for a long time, been part of the problem of both street-based and online trafficking, but we can also be part of a tangible and robust solution. The time has come for us to stand and declare “not on my watch” will children and women be exploited any more for the depraved pleasures of others.
Outside Wildflowers, Belinda chairs the Women’s Network of her employer in Australia and NewZealand, and sits on the board of Northside Community Church.
What's your favourite bible passage & why?
It’s such a reassurance to be told not rest on our own understanding of situations and
relationships. I have to trust God with my whole heart, not just some of it. There’s no holding
back! This passage also calms me when I’m second guessing things or confused. It’s also a
confidence builder when I’m about to embark on a project, or take a next step – I’ve committed it to Him, so I know He’ll lead me.
How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
I tuck into my Bible each day like a meal! I love the YouVersion app for all the awesome devotions it has, and listening to the audio version of the Message Bible in the car. Joel (husband) and I pray together before we head off to work each day, and I also think it’s important to identify my Christian colleagues so we can check in on each other, encourage and pray for each other and the business.
What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?
I’d like them to know just how essential it is to carve out time for dreaming big, enjoying peace and entertaining creativity. There’s a reason those things make our hearts happy. God sets the example in all those areas, and we are made in His image, so why should we starve ourselves of them by letting the world and its version of conventional wisdom take over? Go dream, make time for Sabbath, get yourself a creative outlet!
What's one thing that you love about your local church?
As an elder at Northside Community Church in Crows Nest, Sydney I absolutely love our church family. We have the most incredible and loving community who are open about their own weaknesses, share one another’s burdens and celebrate one another’s joys. There’s a genuine love for one another that you almost can’t believe is real when you first get there. People from all backgrounds and ages just click in a real, heartfelt way.
What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?
I’ve learned that He always makes a way through- this is a bend in the road, not the end of the road. No matter how hard, painful or long that season seems to be, everything in this world has its limits, except for God Himself and His Word which stands for all time. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to trust in Him with all my heart and hold firm onto His Word when everything else is crumbling.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about putting up a fight for others who don’t have the resources to fight for
themselves. We’ve been so ridiculously and overly blessed simply by being born in Australia (let alone everything else we have – jobs, a home, a car, food). Our position on this playing field we call planet earth was never intended to be played for our own advantage, but for the whole of team humanity. We need to let that sink in and start playing our part for others.
For me, I’m using my passions to create a book called Wildflowers which gives a voice through the mediums of story-telling and photography to the survivors and social justice soldiers in the fight against human trafficking in the Philippines and Australia.
What do you enjoy doing when you rest?
I absolutely love escaping with a good fiction book. I’ve loved reading since I was a kid, and I still love losing myself in the adventure of other worlds.
Wildflowers is not just a call to awareness, it’s a shout for action. Australia has, for a long time, been part of the problem of both street-based and online trafficking, but we can also be part of a tangible and robust solution. The time has come for us to stand and declare “not on my watch” will children and women be exploited any more for the depraved pleasures of others. Read more about the Wildflowers book here